Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Vons just for U™ Program: Personalized Savings for You

Last week I was fortunate enough to attend a blogger event for the Vons just for U™ program. I had a great time and met some amazing SoCal bloggers. I'm really excited about this program because although I use coupons, I am by no means coupon savvy. What I like about just for U™ is that I don't have to be savvy about couponing; the program will give me the best possible deal for the items that I buy. Who wouldn't get excited about saving money, and for things you already buy anyway?! Oh, and you get a dozen free eggs when you sign up.

About Vons just for U™
In essence, the program is all about you. It's a highly customized program based on your previous purchase history. (Now you know what Vons is doing with the info it collects every time you swipe your Vons Club Card.) It takes your information and provides you with personalized offers, coupons, and weekly specials all in one place. Once you sign in to your just for U™ account, you just put items you want to buy that week into your Savings List and it will automatically put all of those items onto your Club Card and any associated deals/savings. It eliminates the need to clip and carry coupons to the store. All you have to do is swipe your card at the checkout and watch the savings roll in. The just for U™ program currently has in iPhone App available and will be launching an Android App in 3-5 weeks. just for U™ is available at Vons, Pavilions, Dominick's, and Safeway (Northern California and Hawaii).

How just for U™ works
To start saving with just for U™, simply go to the Vons website and register. You can then choose from 3 different ways to save: Coupon Center, Personalized Deals, and your Club specials. Items are listed within each of these different locations. Just pick the items you want and add them to your Savings List. The information is stored in your Club Card and ready for use upon check-out.
Program Design
I'm pretty old school when it comes to grocery shopping. I like to take my time looking at mailers/circulars and seeing what's on sale - that's pretty much how I plan my weekly menu, based on sale items. However, with an active soon-to-be 4 year old and a baby on the way, time is no longer a luxury that I have (well, I pretty much didn't have that much to begin with). During the time that I got to test-drive the program, I could tell that it was pretty intuitive, both the program and using it. It doesn't take a long time to figure out what's going on and the longer you use it and become familiar with it, the quicker you can get through your virtual shopping. (You can even combine it with grocery delivery so you don't have to leave the house to be productive!) The website is easy to navigate: there are headers to separate items by category, there's a sort function, and the button for adding items is easily visible.

What I like best about this program is that I know I'm getting the best possible deal for something that I want to buy. I don't have to keep track of what coupon I can double or if it's a manufacturer vs. a store coupon, or anything like that. I simply look through the current deals, choose items that I need for the week, and put them in my Savings List. I can print or email the list to myself so I can go to the store with my shopping list, or use the iPhone app. While I was shopping, there were items that I saw at the store which I did not have on my Savings List. I simply logged on to my just for U™ account and added them on my phone. I did notice that there was a price differential for a couple of items on my Savings List and at the store. After checking out, I noticed that I got the better deal, which saved me $0.50. It may not sound like a lot, but all savings add up.

As the program is new, there are definitely issues that are still being worked out and new features that have yet to come. A fellow blogger suggested a filter option. I think an item suggestion would be great for the future. It's kind of like when TiVo® suggests a television program based on your viewing history. For me, it would be great so that I know if there is a new product line on the market that's available at Vons/Pavilions or just a product I didn't know they carried.

Overall Impression
just for U™ is a very useful program for someone like me. If you like to save money, use coupons, appreciate online shopping, or all of the above, then this program is for you. It's easy to use, you can shop at any participating store and know that you are getting the best deal for your item, and all the information you need is conveniently stored on your Club Card. Did I mention that you get a dozen eggs for free just for signing up?!

Disclaimer: I was provided a gift card to test the program. The opinions expressed in this post are solely mine. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review. I received permission to post company trademarked logo and images on my blog.